“I’m standing up for Medicare, just like I always have. I’m pushing legislation to lower prescription drug costs for Nevadans and save Medicare almost $300 billion.”
“Seniors in Nevada and across the country can expect even stronger benefits under the legislation that I am working on.”
“I stand up to bullies. And when I was Attorney General, I was very proud that not only did I take on the Big Banks during the foreclosure crisis, but . . . I stood up to Big Pharma, suing Pfizer for millions after the company misled Nevada consumers about the safety of its drugs. So I’m not going to be intimidated by advertisements spouting false information . . . .”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) spoke on the Senate floor about her work to bring down prescription drug costs for families and seniors in Nevada. The Senator set the record straight about a false ad aimed at misleading Nevadans. In truth, she is working to advance legislation to save Medicare, seniors, federal taxpayers, and families all over the country money.
Below are her remarks as prepared for delivery:
I was elected to the Senate in 2017, and ever since then, I have stood up for Medicare and Nevada’s seniors. I have fought against the Trump administration’s cruel proposals to cut Medicare funding, and I championed provisions to expand Medicare funding and services.
That’s why I was shocked when last week, hundreds of Nevadans began calling my office. They were anxious and alarmed over a deliberately misleading ad that is running on TV, on Facebook, and via a text campaign. In Reno this past weekend, Nevadans came up to me because they were concerned about these false accusations. This ad incorrectly claims that I support a bill that would strip $300 billion dollars from Medicare. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
What I do know is that the ad is a deliberate lie. And it’s being funded by a dark money group called American Prosperity Alliance. This is exactly the kind of group I’ve been raising the alarm about for years.
Because here’s the truth, here are the facts: I’m standing up for Medicare, just like I always have. I am pushing legislation to lower prescription drug costs for Nevadans and save Medicare and seniors across the country almost $300 billion dollars.
That saves the government, and ultimately the taxpayers, almost $300 billion. The bill would not cut anything but Big Pharma’s profits. And seniors in Nevada and across the country can expect even stronger benefits under the legislation that I am working on.
So why would the ads lie about something so important to the American public, when we are working to lower their costs and give them access to affordable health care in this county?
Here’s why: Because powerful interest groups out there don’t want this legislation to succeed, so they’re pouring dark money into efforts to stop it. Now, we don’t know who really funded this ad—and the organization that wrote the check doesn’t have to disclose that information.
And so nobody can be held accountable. And that’s part of the problem, and that’s why I’ve been calling for this accountability and this transparency about who’s funding all these ads.
The only one that’s going to benefit from these ads at the end of the day is Big Pharma, because they don’t want their profits cut. So they’re trying to frighten Nevadans and pressure me to vote against a bill that would help my constituents.
Well, let me just say this: it won’t work. I stand up to bullies. And when I was Attorney General, I was very proud that not only did I take on the Big Banks during the foreclosure crisis, but during my tenure, I stood up to Big Pharma, suing Pfizer for millions after the company misled Nevada consumers about the safety of its drugs. So I’m not going to be intimidated by advertisements spouting false information to my constituents.
So I am here today to set the record straight and make sure that Nevadans understand what’s really going on. Because here’s what’s happening: the very legislation that I am working on would dramatically lower prescription drug costs and strengthen Medicare.
It would do this by capping out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. It would punish drug companies that try to raise the prices of their drugs faster than the rate of inflation. And, oh yes, it would allow the government to negotiate fair prices for drugs from pharmaceutical companies.
Our legislation will save the government almost $300 billion. Now, that’s not a cut—that’s a savings. Every household in the country knows the difference between the two. Under this plan, Nevadans will be getting more benefits for less money, period. That’s the truth.
Here’s my question to Big Pharma: why do you go out and scare individuals? Put ads out there that you’re paying for that are lies, when in actuality you could be working with us?
Because here’s what I know at the end of the day from my constituents: nobody in this country, whether you live in the state of Nevada or any other state, should have to make a tough decision of whether you can afford your health care, your prescription drugs, or put food on the table, or pay your electric bill. That’s not what this country is about.
So to Big Pharma: I’ll call you out. You want to really be part of the solution? Then come support this legislation. Help us in this country lower costs for so many families who need access to medications that they cannot afford. That’s not what this country stands for.
So that is the truth, and anyone—anyone—who wants to come out and challenge that, I am ready to debate you any time of the day.